Please write a clemency letter to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and another to Governor Perry on behalf of Suzanne Basso, who is scheduled for execution in Texas on February 5. Basso would be the fifth woman executed in Texas since the state resumed executions in 1982. Ask the board to commute her sentence to life because of her mental illness and poor health. She is paralyzed from the chest down. You can mention that you are not seeking to minimize or excuse her crime, but that you are urging that her execution be stopped on humanitarian grounds because of her mental illness and poor physical health.
Basso, a New York native, is paralyzed from the chest down, and testified at a December competency hearing from a hospital bed wheeled into Judge Mary Lou Keel’s 232nd State District Court.
Basso’s attorney, Winston Cochran called witnesses who testified of the woman’s allegedly delusional claims that a nurse secreted a snake in a hollowed book, that she was one of triplets born in the office of a Catholic bishop and that she was a friend of former New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller. Basso claimed that she was left paralyzed as a result of a beating by guards at the Harris County Jail, but Cochran said she suffers from a chronic degenerative condition. Although American-born, Basso offered her testimony in an often unintelligible accent, her voice rising in a wail when challenged with terse interrogation.
Cochran argued that Basso was sufficiently delusional, and unable to comprehend her coming execution or its reason. Judge Keel’s rejection of his argument, however, came as little surprise. She had indicated at the end of the December hearing that she was inclined to find Basso competent.
Clemency Section Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
8610 Shoal Creek Blvd.
Austin, TX 78757-6814
Phone: (512) 406-5852 Fax: (512) 467-0945
Salutation: Dear Members of the Board
Her Lawyer is asking for a 90 day stay from the Governor. So please also contact the Governor of Texas to urge him to grant a 90 day stay and to accept any recommendation, if it is granted, from the Board of Pardons and Paroles to commute her sentence.
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
Fax: (512) 463-1849
Main number: (512) 463-2000
Information and Referral Hotline: (800) 843 5789 [for Texas callers]
Citizen’s Opinion Hotline: (800) 252-9600 [for Texas callers]
Information and Referral and Opinion Hotline: (512) 463-1782 [for Austin, Texas and out-of-state callers]
Online Contact: http://www2.governor.state.tx.us/contact
Salutation: Dear Governor Perry